I was an ordinary person who loved to watch baseball, movies and sometimes loved to go shopping when I felt stress from my job. People don't believe it, but I'm really shy and preferred being behind-the-scenes.
Then much to my surprise, I became the co-founder of TNKR.
It was like a new world for me.
I have met so many nice people. For the first time, I have had to be a leader, not just a team member. I am really thankful to Casey Lartigue for helping me develop leadership skills. When we first started, I offered to be the assistant director, and he would be the director. But he refused, and he even fired me until I was ready to be a leader, to be co-director of TNKR. And it worked!
I have met so many nice volunteer teachers. I have enjoyed building TNKR with our executive team- Tony, Janice, Oliver, Dave and Youngmin.
Although I had worked with North Korean refugees in other jobs, for the first time, I could see them extremely motivated to take charge of their own lives. We developed a process where they had to take responsibility for their own learning, not just follow.
TNKR has changed my life! I have become a more active person. Instead of doing just enough to keep my job, I am now in co-founder and co-director of a program that does something practical to help others!
Setting up this fundraiser is another challenge for me. I have never been a public person. Because of TNKR, I have the confidence to give this a try! I hope that TNKR will one day become a larger organization that can help others. Every day, refugees call me to thank TNKR staff and teachers, to let me know that it has changed them. I want them to know that it has also changed me. Together, we can keep making a difference in the lives of others, and ourselves.
저는 영화보는 것을 좋아하는, 야구보는것을 좋아하는 그리고 하는일 때문에 스트레스를 받으면 종종 쇼핑도 즐기는 아주 평범한 사람이였습니다. 또한, 나서기보다는 뒤에서 일하는 소심한 사람이기도 했지요…
그런데, 놀라운일이….제가 TNKR의 공동대표가 되어 현재 이 일을 하고 있습니다.
TNKR은 저를 바꾸는 계기였습니다.
저는 TNKR을 통해 아주 멋진 사람들을 만났습니다. 먼저는 함께 공동대표로 함께 하고 있는 Casey 입니다. 사실 제가 리더로 준비되어 있지 않았을 때도 기다려주며, 저의 부족한점을 채워주었습니다. 또한, 리더로서 포기하려 할때도 격려해주었습니다
(종종 의견대립이 있기는 하지만요^^)
그리고 TNKR 팀(Tony, Janice, Olive, Dave and youngmin)에게도 감사합니다. 부족하지만, 저희와 함께해주는 분들입니다.
그리고, TNKR의 자원봉사선생님들, 또한 열심히 공부하는 탈북민들을 만날때면, 참 이 일이 소중하다는 생각을 하게됩니다!
TNKR 은 저의 인생을 참 많이 바꾸어 놓았습니다.
좀더 자신감있는 사람으로, 실제적으로 누군가를 돕는 사람으로 바꾸어 놓았습니다! 그리고 이렇게 제 생일을 위한 후원페이지까지 개설할 수 있는 용기까지…
그러나, TNKR을 안정적인 단체로 키우는 것은 저에게 또다른 도전입니다. 저는 일주일에 적어도 한통이상의 전화, 문자, 카톡메시지를 탈북민들에게 받습니다. 그 분들은 모두 영어공부를 하기 원하기 때문입니다. TNKR 이 저의 인생에 의미 있는 변화를 가져온 것 처럼 TNKR이 탈북민들의 인생에도 의미있는 도움을 주는 단체가 되었으면 합니다. 함께, 누군가의 인생에 도움이 되는 일에 함께해 주시면 어떨련지요……
On March 1, 2012, I made a commitment to get involved with helping North Korean refugees. After a year of getting involved with various activities, on March 3, 2013, I co-founded along with South Korean researcher Eunkoo Lee an organization helping North Korean refugees.
Originally named "English Matching," Teach North Korean Refugees has helped more than 350 North Korean refugees with adjusting to living outside of South Korea. We have done this on a tight budget, relying on our volunteers and fans. Despite our limitations, we have had a number of success stories and are a non-profit that North Korean refugees seek out.